Wednesday, November 06, 2013

namaste, loving the haters

Byron Katie was an obese, chain smoking alcoholic in the backwater Southern California desert town of Barstow. (She didn't call herself Byron Katie then. That's another story).

She was suffering from depression, too. Screamed at her family a lot.

A mess.

She wanted to die. Not to kill herself. Just to die.

Somehow, with no meditation, spiritual path or any of that, she "woke up."

Her old self, tied together by believing her thoughts about the world and others and about herself, her old self died.

She was free, happy, and didn't call it enlightenment. Still doesn't. Back when I used to hang out with her she called it "a moment of clarity." Who knows what she calls it now.

At any rate, in this lit up state, she discovered that judging others had been her major job in life, and discovered instant pain when she judged in her new lit up state, and instead of doing any of the "let go of judgements stuff," she invented a simple system to "undo" the thoughts behind all our suffering.

It's not about being good.
It's about admitting and writing down our judgments, and then "doing the work" on them.

This is her suggestion:

Judge your neighbor.
Write it down.
Ask 4 questions.
Turn it around.

(You can find the 4 questions for yourself on prior blogs of mine--click on the work of byron katie label below, or simply go to her site: )

Okay, now to the title of this blog: Namaste
and Loving the Haters

So.... back in the late eighties there was Katie, pretty much full blown enlightened, not at all spiritual, but with the work ( four questions and a turn around), amazingly able to help people in any and all forms of emotional suffering.

So people would flock to Barstow and get her help.
And then when they would leave,  and some being from New Age land would say, "Namaste."

Katie had never heard namaste. This is Barstow. She's not "into" spiritual stuff.

She reports thinking, "Oh, they are so wise, they are saying, 'No mistake.'  "

And anyway, a "No mistake" event is ripping through my life just now, giving an opportunity some people to heap vilification on me, and for others, prior supporters, to cut me off, stop supporting me.

Believe me, I spent my time suffering with this, and then it was time to stop suffering and I brought out the big guns, the turn arounds.

They are 100% tight. There is no fudge room in then. If I (or you) want to stop suffering, we have to learn the hard work of practicing what we preach.

They go like this: 3 ways:
"So and so should appreciate me more."

One: Turn around the direction;
"I should appreciate so and so more." (Since I preach it, can I do it?)

Two: Turn the advice inward:
"I should appreciate me more."

Three: Turn around the demand and let reality be what it is. (As if we have a choice)
"So and so should NOT appreciate me more." ) -- Not their job yet. Or, they need to do this so I can learn something. Or, god forbid, I've actually done something that needs to be examined. Any way: they should be doing what they are doing.


If someone disrespects me, and I want respect, the turn around is not just to respect that person in general but to respect their act of not respecting me.

Same with anything: appreciate their not appreciating me.
Listen to their not listening to me.

I want support.
My turn around, here, is to support their lack of support for me.

Not easy.
Freedom is the game.

Not being a victim.
Not demanding they be different.
But swallowing the medicine I want them to take.

Their lack of supporting me, that's their business.
I can't waste time and energy, or disrespect them in their path by demanding, wanting or whining that they be different.
If I want them to support, I need to learn the heavy lifting of supporting them while they don't support me.
Bringing it full circle: I can practice, learn and thrive from supporting their very lack of support as exactly what they need and have to do right now.

Everyone is doing their best.
My job: to support them.

Yes, but only for an ego that doesn't want to die.

As Katie says:
"When you argue with reality you lose, but only 100% of the time."


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